Skip to main content

The lure of Ramadan bazaars


A Ramadan bazaar in Wangsa Maju, Selangor.
If you throw a stone in Malaysia during the month of Ramadan, you are likely to hit a bazaar.

Bazaars offering a wide variety of food had sprouted up all over the country since Ramadan began on August 11.

Lists of the top bazaars to go to have been drawn up. The more known and established bazaars attract enthusiasts from everywhere. Plans are made early in the day as to which bazaar they should visit.

Malaysians enjoy their Ramadan bazaars just as they love their pasar malam (night markets).

The tired soul derives great pleasure from soaking up the sight, sound and smell of stalls laden with delicious food.

Food shopping at the bazaars is enjoyable but do it wisely.
And there is something for everybody at the Ramadan bazaars.

The appearance of dishes (such as bubur lambuk or savoury rice porridge) peculiar to the fasting month and normally not seen Malay cakes especially traditional ones (such as tepung pelita and pisang sira, among others) in the bazaars is cause for celebration and a simple trip to buy food for the berbuka puasa (the breaking of fast at sunset) table turns into a jolly outing.

Choosing your favourite comfort food at a familiar stall for breaking the day's fast is a fun and satisfying experience for many.

There is nothing wrong with that.

Tepung pelita, a Malay dessert, is popular with shoppers.
Also, the month of Ramadan provides jobs for budding entrepreneurs and that is a good thing.

But, as consumerists and other concerned Malaysians point out repeatedly, people tend to overspend and overeat during the fasting month.

Food shopping on an empty stomach is a bad plan because every item on the stall counters looks appetising.

It is bound to lead to buying food that will probably end up in the dustbin.

Bubur lambuk, a savoury rice porridge, makes its appearance during Ramadan
It would be a good idea to make a list of food items that you need and stick to it.

If you are not careful, food shopping at the Ramadan bazaars can take a considerable chunk out of your monthly food budget.

The goal is to be prudent consumers.

Comments

Popular Posts

Why Shamsul Amri dislikes Facebook

Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin People who do not use Facebook fall into three broad categories. The first group is completely indifferent to it, the second finds it mildly irritating and the third dislikes it intensely. Malaysia's prominent sociologist Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin is of the last type. I made the mistake of asking Shamsul, who is director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, if he was on Facebook, the social network which was hatched up in the dormitories of Harvard six years ago. "I have a face and I keep thousands of books. Why do I need Facebook?" How do you react to that reply? I didn't. I meekly invited him to elaborate on his reasons. "Facebook will take away my soul and I won't allow that to happen because I am a believer," says Shamsul fiercely, who launched into a tirade of accusations against Facebook. Ninety per cent of the things you read on Facebook are either p

Koh Soo Ling: Letter perfect love

I will not be able to attend my friend's wedding because I will be in Kuching, Sarawak on the day of the reception. When duty calls, ... That is so sad. I will make it up to you Koh Soo Ling, who is pictured here with husband Michael Howard. Soo Ling has found happiness with a wonderful Irish man who loves her with an intensity that makes her heart flutter. She will begin a new life in Ireland and the prospect of living in the countryside fills her with excitement. She will love her man, take care of him, cook and bake for him, take part in community life and write, write and write.  Yes, Soo Ling will continue to write for New Sunday Times and she promises to share her activities with readers in Malaysia. Theirs is not a whirlwind romance. They started as pen pals, two teenagers who were eager to learn about foreign cultures. Pen pal relationships are so mysterious. Some write to their friends abroad for only a short time; others continue to swap letters and gifts in their

When a card came out of the blue ...

This post is prompted by a remark made by my good friend Wei Lin. She saw me reading a card I had received from a friend recently and said: "Traditional cards are so old-fashioned." I wondered if that was true and decided to probe into the issue. A Google search revealed numerous articles on the debate between traditional paper-based cards and e-cards. Tracey Grady's examination of the pros and cons of each type is informative. In my opinion, e-cards are not substitutes for the real (traditional) ones and they shouldn't be. I treat e-card e-mails with suspicion because spammers could be using them to download viruses and software onto my computer. I have never sent anyone an e-card and I don't plan to; I dislike the cold impersonality of conveying greetings electronically. I have always liked sending and receiving cards the traditional way. The ritual of going to a bookshop, browsing at the card section, picking a suitable one for the recipient and then walki